If you like to drink, eat and be merry, the Duval Crawl is something you ought to try. Great for groups of friends.
Bars line the entire length of Duval Street, Key West, Florida, 33040. As you crawl from one bar to the next, you hear so much live music coming from just about everywhere. On the street, there were street musicians, in the bars there was an excellent variety of mostly late 60s to late 80s music. However the Irish bars still played their traditional folk music.
Here is the Duval Crawl List
Bull & Whistle
801 Bourbon Bar (had the drag queens out front)
Bourbon Street Pub (had the shirtless bartender)
Green Parrot (live music, funny signs)
Virgilio’s (stuffy, can’t eat in the window seats)
Rum Barrel (where we had great onion soup)
Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Café (foofoo drink land, packed all the time)
The Top (roof of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, see slideshow for photos from the roof)
Hard Rock Café (ok place, but nothing that special)
Fat Tuesday (wall o frozen drink machines, many flavors ready to go)
La-Te-Da (where we had shrimp cocktail, shrimp good coctail sauces, not so good)
Rick’s Key West (live music, draft beer, long bar next to Durty Harry’s)
Captain Tony’s Saloon (suprise entertainer at Hemingway’s place)
Sloppy Joe’s Bar (loud, crowded, young and fun)
Hog’s Breath Saloon (folk music, older crowd, nice place)
Pier House Resort (really nice hotel at the end of the street)
Here are a few of the bars on the Duval Crawl List:
No snivelling, excess in moderation, hippies use side door, enforcing the two-tooth minimum at the Green Parrot. Come inside and see the invisible men the signs all said. We went inside, I had a Newcastle. This bar is NOT on Duval, but its on our list. This place has live bands.
If you like drag queens, then you need to go to the show. Don’t look now but that one wants to talk to me. I said hi, then we went inside the bar portion of the place, we didn’t make the show. There were two bartenders who were serving a full bar like it was a walk in the park. They were fantastic as they waisted no moves mixing complex blender drinks. It was as if they were in a ballad and we were watching them dance around and make drinks. Oh, did I mention that this was a gay/transvestite bar?
Sloppy Joe’s was a young crowd with very loud music. The place was packed, yet the service was good. But this was not the Sloppy Joe’s that Ernest Hemingway frequented when he lived in Key West. If you want to have a drink at Hemingway’s favorite watering hole, you have to go to Captain Tony’s.
The live entertainment was just ok. But when this patron asked if he could play a few songs, and then did, the place came alive with appause. I guess he was better than most.
Here is the unknown entertainer’s photo take at Captain Tony’s.
I am sure Hemingway sat right where I sat at the bar. It was a lovely bar and the people were all nice and friendly. Many of the people at Captain Tony’s appeared to be local.
From Captain Tony’s to Jimmy Buffet’s Margarettaville Cafe to The Bull, even drinks in the 3 gay bars on the list, the walk along Duval and its side streets gave us three nights of fun bar hopping. And yes, we conquered the entire Duval Crawl list, having a drink at each one, but it took us 3 nights to do it.
The best thing was really the food. There were so many restaurants, great seafood, steaks, salads and more. I think we might just do this again.